Student Perspectives on the Impact of an Undergraduate Work-Integrated Learning Program on Admission and Transition to Medical School

Abstract

Work-integrated learning (WIL) is a form of education that integrates academic and workplace study. Such programs provide students the opportunity to concurrently develop cognitive and non-cognitive competencies. The purpose of this study is to explore which experiences and skills learned in a WIL placement are useful in applying to medical school and transitioning into the first year of a Doctor of Medicine program. All individuals who worked in the Rapid Response Radiotherapy Program (RRRP; WIL placement) since 2004 and had completed at least 1 year of medical school were invited to participate. Semi-formal interviews were conducted and transcribed. A thematic analysis was completed to identify recurring concepts, and quotes were selected to represent them. Of 39 eligible individuals, 14 agreed to participate (36%). Students identified the volume of work, achieving a work-life balance, and time management as challenges in first-year medical school. Five themes emerged regarding the impact of the RRRP on applying and transitioning to medical school: time management skills, mentorship opportunities, research experience, clinical experience, and career choice. WIL placements present a unique opportunity for undergraduate students interested in pursuing medicine to acquire skills and experiences that will help them succeed in applying and transitioning to medical school.

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Student Perspectives on the Impact of an Undergraduate Work-Integrated Learning Program on Admission and Transition to Medical School

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